2001
Bronze
140 x 250 x 140 cm
Edition of 5
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This sculpture depicts two walking figures striding in opposite directions, determined in their trajectory but suddenly interrupted by a cat, jumping to catch attention, possibly to trip one of them up. This interjection sets up a narrative. The volume of the cat is also a formal device, its line echoing that of the figures within the composition. In this work Anthony Abrahams depicts women as fertile goddesses; their vast thighs, bulging stomachs and buttocks are redolent of primitive and classical figurines. This heaviness of form is countered by their apparent fleetness of foot, as their legs, not burdened by the weight of feet, appear to have only incidental contact with the ground. Volumes and textured surfaces work in harmony, as Abrahams allows the qualities of the materials he uses to make the models for casting, whether clay or plaster, to appear as they were moulded, scraped or smoothed. The incident of the cat is made into a playful intrusion, but possibly only at first glance. Not only is a paw reaching down to attract attention, the creature has a ribbon round its neck, picked out in cats-eye green. The traditional symbolism of the cat varies widely in history from bringer of good luck to beast of evil omen, found simply in terms of the ambiguous gentle and sinister aspects of the creature's appearance.

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About The Artist

Abrahams is a figurative sculptor working in the tradition of modern masters such as Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Elisabeth Frink and Bernard Meadows, Abrahams's expressive female figures have many qualities linking them back to early cultures. The Stone Age Venus of Willendorf c.1600 BC, carved from limestone, is endowed with a large, pregnant belly and generous breast. She is a totem and symbol of fertility. So it is with the female forms of Anthony Abrahams, but his pieces are much lighter and are decidedly of the twentieth century. It is this combination of fecundity and agility that sets Abrahams's figures apart from those of his contemporaries.

Single goddesses, solo dancers, acrobats or gymnasts and pairs of figures in dynamic or quietly reflective mood are seen in Abrahams's repertoire. The sculptures are made initially in plaster on iron armatures and are cast into bronze by the lost wax process. This preserves exactly the textured surfaces that he creates is a variety of ways - through moulding, building, scratching and chiselling.

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Anthony Abrahams

Born: 1926